FT Masters in Management ranking 2021: methodology and key
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This is the 17th edition of the FT ranking of Masters in Management (MiM) programmes.
A record 124 MiM programmes took part in the ranking process in 2021, up from 114 in 2020. Schools must meet strict criteria in order to be eligible. Their programmes must be full-time, cohort-based and schools must be accredited by either AACSB or Equis. Courses must be directed at students with little or no work experience. The ranking covers general management programmes, not specialised ones.
The table is calculated according to information collected through two separate surveys. The first is completed by the business schools and the second by alumni who finished their MiM in 2018.
The FT typically requires a response rate of 20 per cent of alumni, with a minimum of 20 responses, for a school to enter the ranking calculations. Due to the pandemic, the FT considered schools with a lower response rate. Some 7,400 alumni completed this year’s survey — a response rate of about 29 per cent.
FT Masters in Management ranking 2021 — top 100
Find out which schools are in our ranking of Masters in Management degrees. Learn how the table was compiled and read the rest of our coverage at www.ft.com/mim.
The ranking has 17 criteria. Alumni responses inform seven criteria that together contribute 58 points of the ranking’s total weight. The remaining 10 criteria are calculated from school data and account for 38 points of the weight.
For this year, the total weight for the table is 96 points. Due to the travel restrictions caused by the pandemic, the weight for the international course experience category has been reduced. This measures students’ overseas exposure during their degree.
The current average salary of alumni has the highest weighting, at 20 points. Local salaries are converted to US dollars using purchasing power parity rates (PPP) supplied by the IMF. The salaries of non-profit and public service workers, and full-time students, are removed. Salaries are normalised by removing the very highest and lowest salaries reported.
Top 25 schools
Here are some quick facts about the top schools in the ranking. By Wai Kwen Chan
St Gallen is number one for the 11th year in a row — a feat no other school has achieved in this MiM ranking. Alumni of the Swiss institution have the highest average salary in the top 25 at $123,999.
University College Dublin: Smurfit is ranked highest for alumni who have worked in a different country between completion and today.
Gender diversity France’s ESCP is one of 11 schools that achieved gender balance in their most recent class — a 50:50 male/female composition received the highest score in the female students category.
Of the top 25, Stockholm School of Economics has the most alumni in recent years who have spent at least a month on exchange programmes and/or internships overseas.
London’s Imperial College Business School has the most globally diverse class, with 99 per cent of recently enrolled students from abroad.
ESMT Berlin is one of 44 schools where 100 per cent of their recent completing class undertook internships as part of their masters.
Prague University of Economics and Business is one of five schools where 100 per cent of recent alumni found employment within three months of completing their course.
For four years in a row, alumni at the UK’s Warwick Business School have seen the biggest leaps in job seniority three years after completing their masters.
China’s Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management is this year’s highest new entrant and is ranked highest for value for money in the top 25.
Portugal’s Nova School of Business & Economics is one of 17 schools where alumni are required to be fluent in two languages, excluding English, at a professional level on graduation.
St Petersburg University’s Graduate School of Management is one of three highest risers, up 16 places. Alumni reported the biggest salary increase — 110 per cent — between completion and now.
Salary increase is the second most important criterion, with a weighting of 10 points. It is based on the average difference in alumni salary between their first MiM-level job after completion and their current salary, three years after completion. Half of the weight is applied to the absolute salary increase and the other half is applied to the relative percentage increase.
Where available, information collected over the past three years is used for alumni criteria. Responses from 2021 carry 50 per cent of the total weight and those from 2020 and 2019 each account for 25 per cent. Excluding salary-related criteria, if only two years of data are available, the weighting is split 60:40 if data are from 2021 and 2020, or 70:30 if from 2021 and 2019. For salary figures, the weighting is 50:50 for two years’ data, to negate inflation-related distortions.
Data provided by schools are used to measure the diversity of teaching staff, board members and students according to gender and nationality and the international reach of the programme. For gender criteria, schools with a 50:50 (male: female) composition receive the highest score.
When calculating international diversity, in addition to the percentage of international students and faculty at a school — the figures published — the FT also considers the proportion of international students and faculty by citizenship.
A score is then calculated for each school. First, Z-scores — formulas that reflect the range of scores between the top and bottom school — are calculated for each ranking criterion. These scores are then weighted and added together to give a final score. Schools are ranked according to these scores, creating the FT Masters in Management ranking of 2021.
After discounting the schools that did not meet the response rate threshold from the alumni survey, a first version is calculated using all remaining schools. The school at the bottom is removed and a second version is calculated, and so on until the final ranking is reached.
Other information in the table — programme length, the number of students enrolled, overall satisfaction and the percentage of students who undertake internships — does not contribute towards the ranking. (See the key to the ranking below.)
Judith Pizer of Pizer-MacMillan acted as the FT’s database consultant.
Key: weights for ranking criteria are shown in brackets as points.
The total table weight adds up to 96 points.
Salary today US$: average salary three years after completion (not used in the ranking calculation), US$ PPP equivalent (purchasing power parity. See methodology at ft.com/mim-method) †*
Weighted salary US$ (20): average graduate salary three years after completion, adjustment for salary variations between sectors, US$ PPP equivalent. †*
Salary increase (10): average difference in alumni salary between completion and today. Half of this figure is calculated according to the absolute increase and half according to the relative percentage increase. †*
Value for money (5): calculated according to alumni salaries today, fees and other costs. †*
Career progress (5): calculated according to changes in the level of seniority and the size of company alumni are working for between completion and today. †*
Aims achieved (5): the extent to which alumni fulfilled their goals for doing a masters. †*
Careers service rank (5): effectiveness of the careers service in supporting student recruitment, rated by alumni. †*
Employed at three months % (5): percentage of the most recent completing class that found employment within three months of completing their course. Figure in brackets is the percentage of the class for which the school was able to provide data. §
Female faculty % (5): percentage of female faculty as of April 1. ‡
Female students % (5): percentage of women on the masters programme on March 31. ‡
Women on board % (1): percentage of women on the school advisory board. ‡
International faculty % (5): calculated according to the diversity of faculty (on April 1) by citizenship and the percentage whose citizenship differs from their country of employment — the figure published in the table.
International students % (5): calculated according to the diversity of current MiM students by citizenship and the percentage whose citizenship differs from the country in which they study — the figure in the table.
International board % (1): percentage of the board whose citizenship differed from the school’s home country.
International mobility (8): calculated according to changes in the country of employment of alumni between completion and today. Alumni citizenship is taken into account. †*
International course experience (4): calculated according to whether the most recent completing masters class carried out exchanges and company internships, lasting at least a month, in countries other than where the school is based. Virtual experiences are not included. An average calculation was taken from the 2021 survey and the past two years’ international course experience data (2020 and 2019), if available. For schools that have taken part for the first time this year, only data from the 2021 survey were used. Due to travel restrictions caused by the pandemic, some schools were unable to provide recent data for this category. If you are a prospective student, please contact the school to check if they offer study trips and internships abroad. †§
Extra languages (1): the number of languages required on graduation, excluding English.
Faculty with doctorates % (6): percentage of faculty with doctoral degrees at April 1.
The categories below are for information only and are not used in the ranking calculations.
Average course length (months): average length of the masters programme.
Number enrolled 2020-21: number of students who enrolled in the first year of the masters programme in the past year.
Overall satisfaction: average evaluation by alumni of the masters course, scored out of 10. After alumni answered various questions about their masters experience, including the quality of the school’s careers service, they were asked to rate their overall satisfaction, on a 10-point scale.
Company internships (%): the percentage of the last completing class that undertook internships as part of the programme. §
† Includes data for the current and one or two preceding years where available.
‡ For all gender-related criteria, schools with a 50:50 (male/female) composition receive the highest score.
* Data from alumni who completed their programmes in 2018 included.
§ Completed MiM between March 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021.
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